A Beast/A Burden

glass half productions · Ages 18+ · United States of America

world premiere
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JAMESON THORPE uncertified reviewer June 03, 2018
I knew next to nothing about this production going into it other than it dealt with an artist of whom I am extremely fond, Chris Burden. I went in with low expectations, as I've been burned on Fringe shows in the past. This, however, was not your average Fringe show. From the very beginning of the show, the audience is thrust into this realm of uncertainty where you don't quite know what is part of the show and what is real. Then you're led on this exploration of Burden's works - some touching, some humorous - that relate you to the artist through his relationships with other, random characters. By the ending of the piece (which is best left unspoiled for the viewer), I felt connected to Burden in ways I certainly hadn't imagined when I ente... full review
NOELLE URBANO uncertified reviewer June 03, 2018
Wonderfully Weird! Original! A unique Fringe show that you can’t miss! ***** A Beast/ A Burden creatively unravels the life of performance artist Chris Burden. I’d describe the tone as a quirky-dark-dramatic-comedy. The opening of the show immediately swept me in for the journey and the ending left me wanting more and not knowing if it was truly over. This posed the big question-does art truly ever end or just pause at an interesting place? This was one of my favorite parts of the play because this left our audience involved and wanting more. I immediately wanted to go home and google more about the life of Chris Burden. The actor playing Chris Burden, Ben Hethcoat, was exceptional and subtle at portraying all of Burdens quirks.... full review
ANONYMOUS uncertified reviewer June 03, 2018
tagged as: fire
This is a solid 90 minutes where you'll be so entertained by real humans you won't even think about checking your phone. (No one had cell phones in the 1970s anyway.) Well written, thoughtfully directed, and stellarly performed. Often funny, sometimes sad, and always quirky. I left with an urge to renew my LACMA membership, attend target practice, and buy a blonde wig. ... full review
HANNU AUKIA uncertified reviewer June 03, 2018
Going into the show didn’t know much about Burden but the play asked some interesting questions about what is art, the role of the artist and the show intention behind the act/stunts if an artist. Extremely well executed play that stays with you for a long time. Ben Hetcoath’s Burden is harrowingly good and something you don’t want to miss. ... full review
LAUREN REAY certified reviewer June 04, 2018
An original, entertaining and masterfully executed piece of theater that will leave you wanting more!... full review
ELIZABETH COOK uncertified reviewer June 04, 2018
third fringe show ive seen and first one ive felt compelled to write a review for. surprisingly touching piece of theatre that starts off as one thing and ends up something entirely different. is it a comedy? is it a drama? is it an art piece? its sort of all of those things, each one handled in artful and unexpected ways. i immediately went home and looked up more about chris burden, as i was unfamiliar with his work. i stayed up till 2am watching videos. looking forward to seeing the show again now that i know more about him. but, whether you know anything about him or not, this is top level theatre on a modest scale. ... full review
JUSTIN ROSS certified reviewer June 04, 2018
A truly memorable exploration of a local artist, A BEAST/A BURDEN is alive with the intimacy, abrasiveness, and vulnerability that put Chris Burden on the map. Trust me, don’t miss this one. ... full review
GAYLAND HETHCOAT certified reviewer June 05, 2018
Was Chris Burden a self-destructive narcissist or a misunderstood artist of his time? “A Beast/A Burden” ponders this and other probing questions in a riveting production lead by actor Ben Hethcoat as Burden. From the very opening scene, the show thrusts audience members into Burden’s turbulent inner mind and doesn’t let up until the end. Hethcoat and the other cast members, including Jessica DeShaw, Brennan Murray, and Corsica Wilson, offer performances that are raw, visceral, and at times uncomfortable to watch; yet director Billy Ray Brewton makes sure to punctuate the story of Burden’s art and personal relationships with moments of tenderness, humor, and historical reference to a post-Vietnam America. A must-see during this year’s Hollyw... full review
CLARKE WOLFE uncertified reviewer June 07, 2018
A BEAST/ A BURDEN is a unique and original kind of Fringe experience. The show is clearly a labor of love by all involved exploring not only the life of an under appreciated historical artistic figure but examining bigger questions about love and art. The cast is fantastic!... full review
EVAN MCNARY uncertified reviewer June 08, 2018
This is exactly what I hope for in a Fringe production. It takes chances and invites the audience to engage with concepts of art, subversion and relationships in unexpected and entertaining ways. The actors were strong and played off each other well, diving head on into emotionally and sometimes physically taxing waters. Billy Ray's script + direction found unique angles to explore this pivotal span in Burden's life -- unravelling and compressing time in Christopher Nolan fashion while reworking reality through various points of view. It was an energizing experience all around. ... full review